Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle Texas

What is Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle?

Unauthorized use of a motor vehicle is intentionally or knowingly operating another’s boat, airplane, or motor vehicle without the other’s consent.

What is “Operate” a Motor Vehicle?

Operate doe not necessarily mean driving. Case law has determined that it means “took action to affect the functioning of his vehicle in a manner that would enable the vehicle’s use”

What is the Punishment for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle in Texas?

Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle in Texas is a state jail felony. This means up to a maximum of a $10,000 fine and/or 2 years in prison (state jail).

The Difference Between Joyridings and Auto Theft

Joyriding is unauthorized use of a motor vehicle without the proof of intent to steal the vehicle. Auto theft is an intention of not returning the vehicle.

What is the Value of the Stolen Property?

The stolen property is valued at the fair market value of the property at the time and place of the offense. If that cannot be determined it is the cost of replacing the property within a reasonable amount of time after the theft.

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Author: Eric Torberson

Eric Torberson is a licensed attorney in Texas as well as licensed in the federal courts of the southern and western districts of Texas.